Johannesburg – Taki Papadakis and his family are embroiled in a legal dispute with NedGroup Trust, after alleging that a highly connected asset buyer and manager employed by the bank had scuppered their property deal.
Johannesburg resident Papadakis says he was set to buy a house from a deceased estate when the deal was scuppered.
Papadakis, his wife Katerina, and their three young children (ages five, seven, and 10) found the house they wanted to purchase at the beginning of last year, which was being sold by NedGroup Trust Deceased Estates Department on behalf of the late owner.
Their offer was duly accepted and both parties signed an offer to purchase. Papadakis subsequently put their own house on the market.
“Everything seemed to be going fine until I found out that NedGroup Trust had received and accepted another offer on the same house, and we were about to lose the property,” says Papadakis.
“In the meantime, our house had long been sold and we were essentially left with no place to go.”
He says that the bank had acted illegally, as they could not legitimately accept a subsequent offer unless his fell through.
However, Papadakis explains that his offer was accepted at the beginning of May while the second offer, from another potential buyer, was made after his was accepted.
Links to upper echelons in Nedbank
“Not only was this irregular and illegal, but I also subsequently discovered that the other potential buyer has links that extended to the higher echelons of NedGroup Trust,” he says.
“I also found out that this asset manager was directly involved in applying pressure and instructing NedGroup Trust to accept the other offer.
“I also came into contact with someone else who had a similar experience with NedGroup Trust.”
Papadakis says that upon investigating the matter further, he found evidence that this is not an isolated incident, but rather a regular trend within NedGroup Trust, which prompted him to approach the courts.
“I know I have a strong case. NedGroup Trust has no right to set aside a legitimate offer that was accepted by its duly authorised officials,” he says.
“Far from being simply an agreement, an offer to purchase is a binding contract. Once you make an offer, you cannot easily change it.” he says.
However, despite being confident that the law is on their side, Papadakis says the dispute comes at a heavy cost, as he has already suffered financial and personal loss, leaving his family practically destitute after their house was sold.
Additionally, the family has been forced to move into temporary accommodation, where his wife suffered an injury and now has to rely on a mobility scooter to get around.
But he says that he is determined to see the David vs Goliath battle through to the end.
“The most shocking part of this entire ordeal is that it seems like a story of a giant financial institution trying to strong-arm an ordinary citizen out of a legitimate property deal,” laments Papadakis.
“NedGroup Trust is actively campaigning for me to lose this house. That is simply unacceptable.”
Papadakis said the matter will soon be before the court.
NedGroup Trust comments will be published as soon as they are available.
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